With another week of November Tests done and dusted we sit down to select our Team of the Week from the best of the action.
There were ten Test matches over the weekend under consideration, as Ireland made a bit of history against Australia and England got the better of Argentina despite Elliot Daly’s early red card.
Find out who has made our selection below.
Team of the Week
15 Stuart Hogg (Scotland): The star full-back was instrumental in Scotland’s demolition of Georgia after picking up two tries. It wasn’t just the ten points he contributed to his side’s efforts but his general attacking effort. Hogg beat five defenders on his piercing runs that culminated into a whopping 147 metres made. Simon Zebo deserves a shout out for a spirited attacking performance after replacing Rob Kearney in the 11th minute, as does Japan’s Kotaro Matsushima.
14 Dane Haylett-Petty (Australia): The South African-born Wallaby made an incredible 177 metres for his side, while leaving the opposition in his dust with six defenders beaten and three clean breaks. Haylett-Petty also picked up a five-pointer for Australia. Another South African-born player, DTH van der Merwe, gets a special mention for scoring two tries in Canada’s close loss to Samoa.
13 Jonathan Joseph (England): The electric centre has become a favourite of Eddie Jones’ in the 13 channel and it is easy to see why after his performance against Argentina. Joseph’s distribution was near-perfect on the day, including an assist and breaking the line at will. He also kept the Pumas attack at bay with 10 tackles, doing well to cover the extra space on defence left by Daly’s red card. Jonathan Davies was also sensational after a polished offensive performance against South Africa.
12 Garry Ringrose (Ireland): The 21-year old was inspirational against Australia after scoring a game-changing try and beating four defenders on the run. He was astute defensively after making seven tackles and two important turnovers. Levani Botia deserves a mention after scoring two tries for Fiji against Japan, while Tevita Kuridrani can’t stop scoring.
11 Julian Savea (New Zealand): The Hurricanes flyer was again an enigma for the French defence, a team Savea seems to thoroughly enjoy playing after scoring a hat-trick against them in the World Cup last year. He made a fair few metres for his side while holding his position well against a spirited French attack. Tommy Seymour also shone against Georgia.
11 Beauden Barrett (New Zealand): An almost perfect performance from the All Black number 10, after gaining 130 metres for his side beating three defenders while scoring a sensational try where he ran the length of the field. He was also industrious on defence after making six tackles and pilfering a turn over. Samoa’s D’Angelo Leuila deserves a shoutout for almost beating Canada single-handedly through his prolific boot.
9 Sonatane Takulua (Tonga): Was his team’s hero during a memorable triumph over Italy in Padova after contributing 14 points via four penalties and a conversion. The Newcastle Falcons man also proved a handful on attack, gaining 60 metres from 14 carries with five defenders beaten, two clean breaks and a couple of offloads.
8 Kieran Read (New Zealand): The All Black captain led from the front in what proved to be a difficult Test against France in Paris. Read’s decision-making caught the eye, especially when his side was under the cosh in the second half and he also did his bit in defence with 10 tackles made.
7 Tom Wood (England): England’s back row had to put in a phenomenal shift down to 14 men for so long at Twickenhama and Wood was at the heart of it, the Northampton Saint finishing with 17 tackles and a turnover while putting himself about in the loose. Gets the nod over Josh van der Flier and Justin Tipuric, who scored a fine try.
6 CJ Stander (Ireland): Another fine allround display from the Munsterman in his side’s win over the Wallabies in Dublin. Stander grafted hard and was a willing ball carrier taking the ball up on 18 occasions. Also impressed in defence with seven tackles and beats out Springbok debutant Uzair Cassiem who did well against Wales, while Chris Robshaw worked tirelessly for England.
5 Sam Whitelock (New Zealand): Another solid effort in the world champions’ engine room during a hard-fought victory in Paris. Whitelock put his body on the line at the coalface of the All Blacks’ forward effort, especially in defence where he caught the eye with an impressive 13 hits which was the second most for his side.
4 Brodie Retallick (New Zealand): The All Black lock showed on Saturday how much New Zealand missed him earlier in the tour when he was injured with another industrious performance against France. Retallick helped his team dominate the breakdown where they won 20 turnovers and has formed the world’s best second-row partnership with Sam Whitelock. Retallick also made nine tackles in another powerful defensive display from the Kiwis. Courtney Lawes played a big role in England’s defensive effort.
3 Tadgh Furlong (Ireland): The tighthead put in a strong scrummaging performance in Ireland’s 27-24 win over Australia and was a strong presence on defence where he made six tackles. Furlong also didn’t concede any penalties at scrum time, which for a prop doesn’t happen too often these days.
2 Dane Coles (New Zealand): Coles has established himself as the best hooker in the world in 2016 and produced another strong performance against France, even if his contributions were less flashy than usual. The New Zealander was a beast on defence, making 13 tackles while his lineout throwing was also top drawer as the All Blacks didn’t lose any of their 15 lineouts. Rory Best celebrated his 100th Test cap for Ireland with a victory over Australia. The captain led from the front, making six tackles and winning 12 lineouts.
1 Xavier Chiocci (France): The loosehead prop produced a powerful scrummaging performance against the mighty All Blacks and also beat a defender on the attack. He also made three tackles and didn’t concede any penalties. High tackle counts for Scott Sio and Mako Vunipola.